Meet the Office of Learning Abroad

Posted: January 17, 2020 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 2 minutes

Office of Learning AbroadOla might mean “hello” in Portuguese and “alive” in Hawaiian, but at Southern Utah University OLA represents the Office of Learning Abroad. 

Through partnerships with over 50 universities throughout the world, OLA helps students and faculty to learn, teach and explore almost anywhere across the globe. OLA coordinates all of SUU’s international exchange programs, short-term study abroad programs, and the global studies minor and was recently named the top study abroad program in the Intermountain West. 

“SUU faculty and staff develop and direct a variety of educational short-term group programs abroad,” said Director of Learning Abroad, Kurt Harris. “Last year, over 500 SUU students engaged in some form of study abroad, and over 100 SUU employees traveled overseas on university-related work.”

The OLA staff works directly with students on campus to advise them about their study abroad options and planning everything from financing their travel to travel safety. But their services aren’t limited to students. OLA also operates an American Studies Center in China where SUU faculty can work and offers a travel fund program for staff and faculty who encourage students to study abroad.

Through the faculty and staff incentive program, employees earn credit to apply toward a trip of their own. When students apply for a study abroad program they are asked to list one or two faculty or staff who encouraged them to participate. After the student has completed a study abroad program, the faculty or staff member receives a point towards a trip of their own. Faculty and staff members can also choose to have their points converted to a study abroad scholarship. 

The dedicated staff of the Office of Learning Abroad includes Director Kurt Harris and Learning Abroad Coordinators Karina Carter and Zoe Prettyman. Those interested in working with the OLA are encouraged to visit, email or stop by the office in the Sharwan Smith Student Center. 

Tags: Staff Study Abroad International Affairs

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